Saturday, March 31, 2012

Crystal River, on Gulf and Stumpknockers, In Dunnellen

The other day, Carol, Sunshine and I went to Crystal River, on the Gulf. It was a perfect day - sunshine, a breeze and the Gulf was quiet. Sunshine and I both wet our feet in the Gulf and smiled all the way home. Today, we went to Stumpknockers, a restaurant on the river west of Ocala. The whole area is beautiful. We wondered where the name Stumpknockers came from and it was explained on the back of the menu. At one time, I had to wrestle a gator to save my child bride (she doesn't look like it but she was terrified). I had the Walleye and fried Gator tail and discovered that I like this meat. It was fried just right and I brought a LARGE doggy bag home. Couldn't come close to eating it all but now know what fried Gator Tail tasted like. We leave in the morning and our first stop will be Townsend, GA, on the Atlantic. We have friends staying at a park there and are looking forward to seeing them. From there, into the Carolinas and The Great Smoky Mountains. We are looking to an arrival date in our home park in Davison of probably Saturday. Carol usually cooks Easter Dinner for the kids and Grandkids and we have an Easter Egg hunt for the younger ones. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Glen Campbell's Final Tour

A while ago, Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. Because of this, he planned a final tour. Many younger people probably never heard of him but he is very well known to many of us "Older Folks." His tour brought him to The Silver Springs Nature Park in Silver Springs, FL and I was able to see his show. Upon entering the park, I was once again greeted by the "Official Greeters," two beautiful tropical parrots. The park was again full of people of all types enjoying the park and the concert. His voice shows evidence of 75 years of living and his repeated jokes show evidence of dementia, but it was a great show, bringing back memories of long ago! He was given a ton of love by a very large crowd of fans. He was joined on stage by two sons and a daughter. He performed a "dueling banjos" number with his daughter, which the above video is a part of. This park is a "must see" part of Florida for all. It even has a large water park for the kids but, on this day, it was "owned" by Glen Campbell.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Day at Silver Springs Park

The weather today was ideal, sunny and warm with low humidity. MOC friends, Jan and Paul Kelp stopped by our campground on their way north to spend a couple of days. We all went to Silver Springs Park and had a great day, topped off with an Ice Cream Social at our RV park clubhouse. While in the park, we took a couple of river/glass bottom boat rides and a trailer pulled by a jeep for a Safari Ride. We saw two gators professing their love for each other by entwining and holding their heads together. Can't get enough of seeing the beautiful Cypress trees along the Silver River. Saw a Needle Nose Gar through bottom of a Glass Bottom Boat ride over the actual Silver Spring, which puts out over 500,000,000 gallons of water a day. The monkeys were trying to figure out if it was worth it to jump in with us on our Safari Ride. These were Rhesus Monkeys. Weren't these the monkeys that were used to research Polio years ago? They 
were for sure used in the old Johnny Weismiller Tarzan movies that were filmed here? Tomorrow were are planning on returning to the Market of Marion to  a very large flea market and fruit and vegetable stand.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sunshine usually has one good run in her a day.

Every morning, between 7 and 8:00AM, Sunshine takes me out for our daily morning walk. We walk through the RV park and/or through the Ocala National Forest. One of our regular stops is the dog park in the campground. She is almost nine years old and she many times has one run in her, before she returns to snooping, sniffing and wanting to be loved. This morning, I was able to get a shot of one of her short trots. As a retired racer, she is teaching me all about retirement and doing a great job with her teaching. She raced 79 times and came in 1-4 over half the time. Now, she is not sure if she wants to run or not, most of the time because it takes from her time loving and being loved. I am learning so much from her. I just hope I can live up to many of her expectations of me.

Friday, March 9, 2012

We took The Monkey Cruise

Today, we may have had the most fun time of any day since we came here. We joined MOC friends Helen and Bill Moll, and two of their full timer friends, Steve and Lynette and took a pontoon boat ride up the Ocklawaha and Silver Rivers into the area of the Silver Springs State Park and Silver Springs Wild Park. We were entertained by monkeys that had been in the park during filming for the original Tarzan movies and then escaped and are now living wild along the river. We saw bejillions of gators, mostly small, young ones, birds of all kinds, turtles and an otter. We found about 23 baby gators sunning themselves on a log, some only maybe 3 inches long or so. The raw beauty of the cedar trees along the shore line held all sorts of surprises. When we got to the monkeys, we had to keep our distance because they wanted to come aboard. It took us three hours to get to where we wished to turn around and, as soon as we did, the rains came, lasting about an hour. Then the sun came back, bringing out the Anhinga birds spreading their wings to dry. These birds dive into the water, swimming underwater, grabbing their prey and surfacing. Their winds do not have the oil that most birds have so the water soaks into the wings, instead of running off. They have to spread them to let them dry, otherwise they would be too heavy to fly. We were soaked but saw birds and gators doing things that they probably would not do in the sunshine. All in all, a GREAT day, put together by our "Tour Director," Helen Moll - Thanks, Helen.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This is Gator Joe's!

We finally made it to Gator Joe's, the famous restaurant on Lake Weir, where the foot from the infamous gator, Old Joe, it encased on a wall. An intercepted message from Ma Barker and her sons in 1934 mentioned Old Joe and the FBI ran it down to a house just down from this restaurant. After a four hour gun battle, Ma and one of her sons were killed. I was going to try the Gator Tail but got a great deal on a very tasty fish dinner instead. Next time I will try the Gator Tail, for sure! We went there with Bill and Helen Moll, MOC friends who live full time in the RV park where we are staying. We saw a beautiful sunset on the lake from the deck of the restaurant. We are now scheduled for a "Monkey Ride" on the river Friday. This is a pontoon boat ride on the river through Silver Springs where, years ago, a lot of monkeys that had been used there during filming of Tarzan movies, had been released. Now they are wild along the river. Should see mucho gators, birds, and monkeys.